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9 Apr, 2023 14:28

FBI targeting Russians on Facebook – Fox

The Bureau is reportedly looking for new informants on the Kremlin
AP Photo / Charlie Neibergall

The FBI has launched a social media campaign seeking to convince Russian nationals to provide sensitive information about the activities of their home country’s authorities, Fox News reported on Friday. The ad, which was first posted in February, has allegedly appeared on Twitter, Facebook and Google.

“Do you want to change your future?” Alan Kohler, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, says in the video shared online.  “The FBI values you. The FBI can help you. But only you have the power to take the first step.”

Fox News cited a source as saying that, although the Bureau has run ads targeting Russians in the past, this year it decided that “a video was more effective.”

The FBI’s website encourages Russians willing to offer information to visit the bureau’s main office in Washington, DC, to call the FBI hotline, or to send a message online.

The US stepped up efforts to recruit informants in recent years as Moscow and Washington have been locked in a diplomatic row over Ukraine. In 2019, the Bureau posted a series of ads on Facebook, urging Russians to come forward, although this message, written in Russian, contained typos.

In 2020, the FBI’s online campaign aimed at potential Russian informants included images of popular Soviet actor and singer Vladimir Vysotsky, known for portraying a police detective on screen. The CIA, meanwhile, has been publishing job postings for people who speak Russian.